KR: It’s a great feeling to pick up any award, but the SHABA’s in particular mean a huge amount to me. There were some hugely talented guys in my category, so to come away with a win was tremendous. The whole night was fantastic, and for Sovereign and the team to be shortlisted in six different categories was a great achievement for all of us. BNV: What’s your partnership with Hanz De Fuko been like? KR: I’ve been a massive fan of Hanz De Fuko since I first discovered them. When I was approached to be their UK/EU brand ambassador I jumped at the opportunity. Our working relationship is still young, but we have some exciting projects in the pipeline. Hanz De Fuko, while a relatively young brand, have already broken America and have a cult celebrity following. We’re just about to host the first UK based event, which I will be heading for them at BEAST in Covent Garden. It’s a week-long event focused on education and generating awareness of this great brand, and it’s the first of many exciting things we’re discussing over the upcoming year. We’re going to be teaming up with some other great brands across the UK and Europe. The demand for the brand brings endless possibilities for what we can do. So, when we have everything finalised I’ll make sure you’re the first to know! BNV: We know you’ve started opening early to suit your clients. Has this improve customer retention? KR: The response to our introduction to earlier openings has been greatly received. Many of our clients are businessmen with extremely busy schedules who struggle to squeeze in appointments. They are not 9-5 people, and neither are we. If you can go to the gym at 7am, why shouldn’t you be able to get a haircut? BNV: How does it feel to be the 35th coolest person in Scotland? KR: This was something I was blown away by. I grew up in a small village in the North East of Scotland, so when I got an email from the Herald saying they wanted to include on their list of Scotland’s 100 Coolest People, I had to read it
twice to believe it. I don’t particularly think of myself as being cool, but someone somewhere did, so I’m Just going to roll with it. BNV: Is there anything on your bucket list left to do during your career? KR: At present my sole focus is Sovereign. We have an incredible team put together, both on the shop floor and behind the scenes. We’ve set out goals and ambitions of what we intend to achieve, so a bucket list would only provide a distraction from that at present. However, one of the great things about this industry is that you can literally take it anywhere in the world. So, if one day I could use my profession to see more of the world, then it’s something I’d consider one day. BNV: How important is education to you and your brand? KR: Massively! We pride ourselves on providing a second to none service. To tailor a hairstyle to the individual needs of a client requires knowledge. We require our team to not only obtain that knowledge but to share it with the guy in your chair. Let them know why you have cut their hair the way you have, and how it will benefit them. Teach him how to maintain that style, if it’s a style that needs to set using a hair dryer and a brush, show him how to. To work in this way needs to be taught. I’ve had to re-teach some of my team away from what seems to be the industry standard approach to a hair service. This is where apprenticeships excite me at Sovereign. We get new stylists in the team who come in as a blank canvas that we can mold into working the Sovereign way. BNV: If you could give advice to yourself when you first started in the industry what would you say? KR: Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. I’ve met opposition to ideas, plans and opinions that I’ve had throughout my career, which if I had listened to I would never have achieved what I have to date. Opposition can come in a variety forms, it can come from risk averse friends and family who don’t want to see you fail, or from people for one reason or another that want to see you fail. But, if you have a vision of what you want to do and you fully believe in it then follow it through, you’ll regret it if you don’t.
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